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JLL: Experiences in this holiday season; top stores consumers plan to shop are …

Walmart exterior sign
Walmart ranks as one of the top holiday shopping destinations, according to the JLL survey.

Shoppers will be looking for entertainment and experiences this holiday season. 

That’s according to JLL’s “Holiday Shopping Survey Report 2023,” which found that planned spending on physical goods will be down about 13.8% from 2022, decreasing from an average of $868 per person last year to $748 per person this year.

However, with the addition of a new spending component measuring experience in this year’s survey, consumers’ overall holiday budgets actually exceed 2022,  JLL said. What the entertainment metric is figured in, shoppers plan to spend $958 per person this holiday season — 22.8% of which will be used for holiday entertainment and experiences. 

The top three retailers (in-store or online) that consumers plan to shop this holiday are Amazon (64.7%), Walmart (47.6%) and Target (41.8%). Rounding out the top five: Macy’s (9.7%) and Kohl’s (8.6%).

The top three store types on shoppers’ lists this holiday are mass merchandisers (57%), department stores (47.4%), electronics stores (35.3%) and discount or dollar stores (34%). 

Other findings from the report are below.

•More than 90% of holiday shoppers will indulge in at least one holiday experience like eating out or visiting an entertainment venue.

•On average, shoppers will spend $218 on entertainment and holiday-related experiences.

•Sixty-five percent will dine out at a restaurant and 43.7% will go to the movies (almost twice as much as last year)

•Almost half (49.6%) of primarily Gen Z shoppers will shop in malls compared to the 40.8% average.

•Three of the top 5 gift categories on shoppers’ list have a fun, interactive element: toys (39.2%), games (38.5%) and electronics (37.3%). But clothing (57.5%0) and gift cards (45.9%) topped the list.

•The top social media plaforms for shopping inspiration are Facebook (35.8%), Instagram (32.7%) and YouTube (24.1%).

JLL listed the report’s top five takeaways for holiday shopping.

•Experience is on the list. More than 90% of respondents surveyed plan to participate in at least one holiday-related experience. And they’re doing so more than they did in 2022.

•The perfect gift is a priority.  Women will splurge on gifts this year- - spending over 40% more than men. Older generations will also spend more on gifts than younger cohorts, particularly Boomers (aged 60 and above) who are likely splurging on grandkids.

•Consumers are channel surfing. Consumers will interact with the physical retail store in some way this holiday, either by shopping in a mall, in an open-air center or picking up curbside or in-store.

  In comparison, more than three-fourths will order online for home delivery. Consumers will not limit themselves to one channel. Approximately 57% of shoppers will use two or more channels to cross off their holiday lists.

•Shoppers to give fun this season. Three of the top 5 gift categories on shoppers’ lists have a fun, interactive element – toys, games and electronics. Rounding out the top five are clothing and gift cards. 

Movie-themed kids’ merchandise like Super Mario Bros. and Barbie are also big this season. Consumers, especially high-income earners, plan to pick up at least one gift for themselves.

•Deals are always going to matter. Most shoppers will look for creative ways to save money – taking advantage of sales and deal days, buying less expensive gifts and shopping for fewer people. This is especially true of modest earners (earning less than $50,000). 

Shoppers with lower-than-average budgets have more plans to buy used or cheaper products or will re-gift.


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